2014 - 2015 Projects

An Unfinished Conversation (Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences)

The fields represented in EECS have experienced long-term challenges in attracting and retaining a diverse student body. However, due to focused efforts on the part of faculty, staff, and student ambassadors, that is changing. The challenges now are in creating an inclusive environment that is welcoming of all EECS students and is able to meet their needs. This project will focus on trainings and discussions for all graduate and undergraduate students, including undergraduate student instructors, faculty, and staff, featuring sessions led by Lee Mun Wah of the Stir Fry Seminars program, group viewings of the film, If These Halls Could Talkfollowed by facilitated discussions on perspectives on race, and other supported individual and group work. The goal will be to construct a model of authentic and respectful cross-cultural engagement that supports the success of all students, faculty, and staff, and that can be replicated in other departments on campus.

Project Leaders:  Susanne Kauer, Director, Center for Student Affairs, EECS; Tiffany Reardon, Associate Director, Diversity and Achievement, EECS

Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Programming at UC Berkeley

A collaborative project of UC Berkeley food-related organization to create safe spaces for open dialogue and critical thinking that will cultivate a climate of inclusivity and diversity in food and agricultural research, teaching, and activism. The collaborative will develop and pilot a two day-long workshops for its members and leadership,  including faculty, staff, executive leadership, and graduate and undergraduate students. The collaborative currently includes: Berkeley Food InstituteHaas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive SocietyCenters for Educational Equity and ExcellenceMulticultural Community CenterFood PantryCal DiningStudent Environmental Resource CenterStudent Organic Garden AssociationBerkeley Student Food CollectiveGradFood, CityFood, University Health ServicesInstitute for the Study of  Societal IssuesEnvironmental Science, Policy and ManagementGeology Department, Sociology Department.

Project Leader: Rosalie Fanshel, Program Manager, Berkeley Food Institute

Fellowship Positions Available:
Graduate Student Fellow for Equity and Inclusion
Equity and Inclusion Working Group Student Fellows (3 positions open to undergrad and grad students)

Cal Anti-Racism Collaborative

A team of graduate and undergraduate students in the School of Social Welfare, in partnership with the dean and other members of the faculty, will design a series of monthly “Skill and Theory Labs” focused on various aspects of anti-racism work. These labs will be open to all Social Welfare students and faculty and include topics such as micro-aggressions, allyship, self-care, intersectionalty, etc. Social Welfare alumni will be invited to play facilitation and/or panelist roles at events in order to link theory to field practice and public service. This model is inspired by work being done by schools of social work in New York City, the Undoing Racism Internship Project, and has the goal of creating an inclusive, intentionally anti-racist environment in the School of Social Welfare that supports the development of all students.

Project Leaders: Arianna Allensworth, graduate student; Anna Salomone, graduate student, School of Social Welfare.

Cal True Story

Cal True Story is a series of true stories told by LGBTQ and other underrepresented Cal students in their own words for Cal students. These stories are about how these students navigate health and wellness in their day-to-day lives. The stories are portrayed in a comic series form with ads placed monthly in the Daily Cal. The comic series will be viewable in its entirety online and will expand to cover topics such as sexual assault, stress, mental health, alcohol use, and more.

Project Leader: Sarah Gamble, Project Director, Health Promotion, University Health Services.

Career 360: Career Readiness for Transfer Students

A joint project between the Career Center and SAGE (Student Achievement Guided by Experience) Scholars programs, as well as other campus units such as the Tang Center and the Transfer Center, will provide a cohort, guided experience of career readiness activities to transfer students. These activities include workshops on building career confidence, career planning for the future, resumé and cover letter preparation, networking for career opportunities, and the job search. It will also offer presentations and direct discussions with employers and recruiters, as well as field trips to visit some of the leading Bay Area employers.

Project Leaders: Sharron O’Connor, Counseling & Programs, Career Center; Grace Kim, Counseling & Programs, Career Center;Lilly Omid, Executive Director, SAGE Scholars Program.

Cultural Sensitivity and Social Justice Training for Journalists

A team of students, staff, and faculty in the Graduate School of Journalism will work with a skilled social justice trainer and facilitator to design a series of workshops focused on critical self-awareness, especially for the needs and environment of journalists, and engaging media on issues of diversity. These workshops will be open to students, faculty, and staff, however, leadership groups will be enrolled initially, beginning with the Leadership Committee, a committee of approximately ten student leaders. These groups will form cohorts that will then train subsequent leaders through orientations and other activities. After the workshops are implemented, the student-led Diversity Committee will broaden the conversation within the school through guest critical media experts on various topics of diversity, inclusion, and the media.

Project Leaders: Zainab Kahn, graduate student; Gabriela Arvizu, graduate student; Joanne Straley, Director, Student Advising and Financial Aid, Graduate School of Journalism.

Encouraging Intentional Brave Communities through Student-led Restorative Circle Practice

The Restorative Justice (RJ) Center, in collaboration with Cross-Cultural Student Development and Berkeley Student Cooperative, will create a network of student Restorative Circle Practitioners within communities most affected by exclusionary behavior and other negative experiences of campus climate as reported by the UC Berkeley 2013 Campus Climate Survey. There will be ten open internships available across the RJ Center, Cross-Cultural Student Development, and Co-op units. These students will be trained in Restorative Circle Practice, which they will then introduce to their affinity groups and Co-op houses with the goal of building and strengthening community within those spaces. Additional trainings and coaching will be offered to the interns through semi-monthly Restorative Circle Network gatherings. Interns will also be guided through the process of developing their own RJ projects that aim to address the most salient campus climate issues on a deeper, structural level. These projects will then be launched across campus during spring 2016.

Project Leaders: Julie Shackford-Bradley, Coordinator, Restorative Justice Center; Lisa (Walker) Walker, Coordinator, Cross-Cultural Student Development; Lea Robinson, Coordinator, Student Cooperative Involvement and Student Leadership, LEAD Center, ASUC Student Union.

Interactive Luncheon Series on the Biological Sciences Division

Faculty and staff within the Biological Sciences Division, which includes both Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB) and Integrative Biology (IG), will come together in a series of 6 to 8 lunches to re-examine how we communicate within and between our departments, and ask if we are doing all that we can to provide a warm, welcoming, and supportive environment for all members of our community. Results from a divisional survey will guide the discussion topics at these lunches and campus partners will act as facilitators and advisers as needed. Surveys will also be conducted following each lunch and a community event at which lessons learned and next steps for the division in ensuring a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment will be discussed.

Project Leaders: Monica Albe, Executive Assistant; Rebecca Heald, Professor; David Weisblat, Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology.

Intersect: An Identity Conference and Solution-based Curriculum

Led by a coalition of units on campus, a day-long conference in October 2015 will be organized with workshops, speakers, and discussion to create a space for participants to manifest a cultural change to create a lasting impact using a student development, intersectionality and multicultural identity development framework. The primary audiences will include students living in shared living spaces, fraternity and sorority members, student group members, staff who work with diverse student populations and the general campus community who experience isolation due to an identity difference. The overarching goal will be to provide the campus community with an opportunity to witness, engage in and be self-reflective about issues impacting the campus climate, resulting in a community taking ownership in better practices for creating the environment they wish to live in. Following the conference, a working group will develop a curriculum that can help lead students, staff, and faculty to examine how they will survive the current campus climate, empower themselves and others to envision a campus that welcomes and supports us all, and how to continue to learn, grow, and thrive together.

Project Leaders: Amber Bundy-Davis, Coordinator, Cal Greeks Advising and Leadership Development; Lea Robinson, Coordinator, Student Cooperative Involvement and Student Leadership, LEAD Center, ASUC Student Union.

“Queer on Campus” Video Games Design Workshop

The "Queer on Campus" Video Game Design Workshop is a two-month program that teaches Berkeley undergraduates to build original digital games that speak to the challenges they face as LGBTQ youth on campus. Led by a collaborative team of instructors, with visits from guest speakers from the professional game industry, the workshop highlights accessibility, inclusion, and diversity in technology. Students will also have the opportunity to present at the annual Queerness and Games Conference, encouraging them to join in important current debates around identity and digital cultures (e.g. "GamerGate"). This project continues the innovative work on video games taking place across the UC system.

Project Leaders: Bonnie Ruberg, Ph.D. candidate, Comparative Literature Department, Gender & Women's Studies Department, Center for New Media; Christopher Goetz, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Film & Media.

Tell Me A Story

Inspired by the “Call Me Ismael Project” (callmeishmael.com), this project aims to create a space for undergraduate students to express their experiences of campus climate in an anonymous way. A central website will be created to share anonymous stories collected via a publicized voicemail system. Additionally, the website and the voicemail system will provide new monthly prompts, poignant questions about experiences related to identity, exclusion, inclusion, pride, the classroom or living spaces, and others. This project will be led and piloted by the Educational Opportunity Program, the College of Environmental Design, and the College of Letters & Sciences, with the intent to include all undergraduate schools and colleges eventually. Undergraduate advisors will share the information about the website and voicemail system, and solicit students to participate, focusing initially on students reporting the highest levels of exclusionary behavior and other negative experiences of campus climate as reported by the 2013 UC Berkeley Campus Climate Survey Report, largely students from underrepresented communities and identities. In addition to providing a safe space to express often hidden stories, another goal is to provide an empowering platform to share and normalize the stories of these students, allowing their peers to learn from them.

Project Leaders: Donna Vivar, Associate Director and Academic Counselor, Educational Opportunity Program; Omar Ramirez, Academic Advisor, College of Environmental Design; Amber Dillon, College Advisor, College of Letters & Sciences.

Undergraduate Student Research Ambassador Program

This is a student-led project to create a core group of twenty current undergraduate student researchers to become ambassadors to underrepresented and other marginalized groups within the undergraduate student population to lead undergraduate, interdisciplinary support circles; conduct peer outreach by partnering with programs such as GIGS (Getting Into Graduate School) and EOP (Educational Opportunity Program); and collaboratively produce a report on the challenges facing undergraduate researchers from underrepresented and/or marginalized populations, and the solutions found to those challenges. Additionally, the undergraduate research ambassadors will be invited to attend recruitment events and will implement a research fair to engage more undergraduate students from underrepresented background in research on campus. The project will be administered with the support of the Office of Undergraduate Research with ongoing support and advice from the American Cultures Center and the Graduate Diversity Program.

Project Leaders: Nalya Rodriguez, 3rd year undergraduate student, Majors: Ethnic Studies, Sociology; Cristina Gomez-Vidal, 4th year undergraduate student, Major: Interdisciplinary Studies/Minor: Public Policy.